Our micro brewery is situated at the highest point of the Long Tom Pass between Sabie and Mashishing (Lydenburg), looking over the valley towards Mount Anderson. Although the first beer was only brewed during February 2001, the initial concept and planning started in 1993. The brewery has since grown into a place where all beer lovers stop over for one of the best.
Beer brewed at Hops Hollow Brewpub is a combination of the brewer’s experience, scientific background, artistic flair and passion for his craft. As each batch of beer is handcrafted the outcome is not always predictable. Our beer is brewed with passion and each batch always surprises with different nuances and taste. For those amongst us that feel secure with the mundane this may seem to be a shortcoming, but to the real beer lover it is a constant source of enjoyment as each batch has changing nuances, providing great pleasure and enjoyment to the connoisseur.
Our all malt draught beer is brewed with absolutely no enhancers or unnatural additives in the brewing process, and is on a par with the world’s best. The beer is coarse filtered and not pasteurized and thus contains a small percentage of active live yeast.
Our clean mountain water is one of the most important ingredients. The mountain water at Hops Hollow is soft with low levels of minerals and no added chlorine or fluoride.
Kölschbier originated in the town of Köln where a guild of brewers has been active since 1254. Our German ale, Diggers Draught, is brewed to approximate the same standards as a true Kölsch. As it is one of the very few beers in the world whose name is protected legally and in respect to the appellation contrôllée that the Köloners instituted to preserve the identity of their creation, Diggers Draught is called a “Kölsch style Ale”.
The light body and colour is the result of the local pale malt and imported German winter wheat malt used to brew this beer. The fermentation regime for this beer involves fermenting the beer at 18-20 °C and then allowing it to condition in cold storage for at least two weeks. This process combined with a unique top fermenting strain of yeast, bestows a delicate fruitiness to the beer that has to be tasted and makes for an excellent refreshing summer beer.
Digger’s Draught’s hopping process ensures a fine balance between bitterness, flavour and aroma. Traditionally the noble-type variety hops are used for Kölschbier, but I have opted to use a locally developed hop with a very flowery aroma.
Our Belgian White ale is based on the centuries old tradition of Belgian White beer. This delightfully light and tart beer is styled after the world renowned “Hoegaarden Witbier” and is an excellent thirst quencher, especially after a hard day’s toil. The beer is unfiltered and naturally cloudy, containing all the goodness of a truly live beer!
The list of ingredients is quite complex, and the beer contains a variety of spices including Ginger and Indian Coriander. We challenge you to identify the few other ingredients that are added to spice up your life even more!
Blacksmith’s Brew is a favourite of the ladies, and even those with the most ardent dislike for beer have been known to grudgingly admit it’s better to enjoy a Blacksmith’s than orange juice with breakfast!
When we formulated this old style of beer we had a smell of leather, the after taste of coffee, with a creamy head, in mind. With a malty creamy fullness, smooth as silk with chocolate, mocca coffee undertones and a perceived light hop finish, Mac’s Porter has been described by the fairer sex as “hooligan juice”, an “aphrodisiac” and plain old “lekker”.
This beer is not filtered resulting in a taste sensation where all the components are experienced as a whole while maintaining their separate entities. Although the beer appears to be black at first glance, it is in fact a translucent deep ruby that can only be described as sensuous. Despite this dark colour, it is surprisingly light in body
With a combination of local pale and chocolate malt, imported winter wheat and crystal malt, this beer has no difficulty holding with a glass of the best cabernet next to a crackling fire during the winter. Ladies beware – Mac sneaks up on you as the evening lingers on and has not been described as hooligan juice without reason.
OLD BULL BITTER
This beer is an all-time favourite. A lingering spicy hop character on the back of the palate balances the clean malty fullness on the front of the palate. This is combined with fruity estery overtones from the original Whitbread yeast strain. The aromatic floral hop character is the consequence of the late addition of processed Styrian Goldings hops imported from the UK. True to the British brewing traditions, this ale is fermented at warm temperatures using a top fermenting yeast. Old Bull tends to bring back memories of the pints of traditional bitter ales enjoyed at the local English Pub.
WWe designed this beer to have a mouthful of flavour yet be relatively low in alcohol, so that it can be enjoyed all evening without the drinker having an extreme personality change. There is nothing so enjoyable as a pint of Old Bull ale on the stoep of Hops Hollow while viewing the day’s light fade over the valley towards Mount Anderson.
Man, life is tough in Africa
This lager loosely based on the Bohemian Pilsner style, was initiated by my close involvement in the Ferro-Alloy industry. After a hard day’s work, tapping alloys exceeding 1650 C, a man needs a real thirst quencher. Tapper’s Brew is a well balanced beer with a beautiful SAAZ hops aroma and bitterness. Imported German malts gives it a light bodied feel, refreshing when enjoyed ice cold.
What more can you ask, the fulfilment of tapping a hot furnace, and closing off the day with an ice cold Tapper Brew. I am ready for the next shift. A real man’s world!